Petition in support of new Bristol Rovers stadium to be presented to Prime Minister David Cameron
Updated 4:48pm Tuesday 25th February 2014 in News By Alexandra Womack, senior reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury
A PETITION signed by more than 12,000 people against a campaign group’s attempts to stop Sainsbury’s developing Bristol Rovers’ current ground will be handed to the Prime Minister next week.
Rovers chairman Nick Higgs, Bristol North West MP Charlotte Leslie and club fans are travelling to Downing Street to present the petition to David Cameron before a Judicial Review takes place later in March.
The petition calls on TRASHorfield, which opposes Sainsbury’s developing the Memorial Ground into a new supermarket, to drop legal proceedings against the plans. Rovers won planning permission for a 21,700-seater stadium at University of the West of England’s Frenchay campus last year but building the venue is dependent on selling the club’s current ground.
The petition says TRASHorfield is preventing the whole area from having a new stadium and is not representative of many people.
Ms Leslie, who is leading the petition, said: “We have shown clearly that thousands of people understand the massive benefits this stadium project will bring, not just for Rovers but by extension for things like public transport and the community.
“This issue is crucial for the city of Bristol – we have already seen how Bristol City had similar problems with their stadium plans – and we must not be held to ransom by small interest groups which is why we want the Prime Minister to know all about the efforts by fans and local people to safeguard this great project,”
She added: “This is the true voice of the people, who are fed up with small interest groups holding back our great city.
“Nearly 13,000 people can’t be wrong, and I hope and pray that we see justice at the judicial review.”
The Judicial Review will be held in Bristol on March 13 and 14.
Diana Scrafton, of TRASHorfield Ltd, said: “The Judicial Review is an important part of our democratic system that can help to ensure that important decisions are taken properly and we are grateful to have this decision scrutinised.”
Rovers has said it is ‘very disappointed’ that a Judicial Review was granted.
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